Thank you to Blogger Lucy Valdez of 2Genbeauty for the great Movie Review & Round Table Interview with Bella Thorne for Outersparkle.com
I absolutely love going to the movies! To me, it is more than just going to a movie theater. It is an overall experience…the film, the popcorn, the company and the emotional connections. I especially love movies that spark fond childhood memories. The Alvin and the Chipmunks modern franchise has been just that! Now with their newest release Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, we see Alvin, Simon & Theodore embark on a zany adventure with Miles, the son of Dave’s new girlfriend, Shira. Under the impression that Dave is going to be proposing to Shira in Miami, Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and Miles, take a crazy road trip to intervene. I had the opportunity to see this animated film and interview one of the actresses in the film at a prescreening! Keep reading to learn what I thought about the film and check out the roundtable interview with Bella Thorne, who plays pop star, Ashley, in Alvin and the Chipmunks – The Road Chip! In theaters December 18th.
There is something about the cutest chipmunks ever that you just can’t be mad at, and trust me, in this movie there is plenty of insane situations and antics this group of chipmunks and Miles get into. I was laughing throughout this entire film and even shed a few tears at the end. It is safe to say that both kids and adults will get a kick out of everything from Sugglife (watch the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about) to the themes of love, acceptance, and family that the adults will definitely hone in on. I also happen to have a major crush on Jason Lee, who plays Dave Seville, going back to his days of skateboarding and films like Mallrats and Chasing Amy. I can’t help it…I just love a man with a board ❤
Let’s talk about Alvin, who we can safely refer to as the ringleader of the band of brothers…How smart was he to dress up three actual squirrels (because he couldn’t find chipmunks) to look like him, Simon, and Theodore to trick the neighbor into believing that they were home while in fact they were making their way to Miami?!?! Then as the movie progresses we actually forget about these squirrels that were left in Dave’s house for multiple days, that is until everyone returns home after all the insane adventures. Now close your eyes and begin to imagine what Dave finds when he opens his front door, and yes it is as bad as you can imagine! LOL!
I can actually vouch for this! Not to the extent of the film, but definitely just a small taste of what could really happen. As an animal lover I have been the foster mom to three squirrels found in the wild and unable to care for themselves. Peanut was out first squirrel that we adopted and lived in our home until he was about 6 weeks old at which point the holes in my sofa deemed it time for him to explore the great outdoors! Mike Rowe & Snickers were found together, days old. Sadly, Mike Rowe did not make it, but Snickers became quite the loving squirrel, who also at 6 weeks was ready to be released at the local wild life sanctuary.
I Idefinitely recommend checking out this family friendly flick! It is one that the entire family will love and has the perfect amount of edginess to make it cool enough for tweens and teens alike! Check out the roundtable interview I was able to participate in with a few other media outlets, as we speak to Bella Thorne about her career, this film, and about her being just a regular girl….
Funtastic Life: What first attracted you to the role and can you tell us about your audition process?
Bella: I had a meeting with the director, I read a few lines, and he was like, “You’re the girl; you’re her!” He said he wanted to incorporate my actual music that I’ve done before into the movie, and we did, so the a lot of the songs that we sing in there are my actual songs.
Mama’s Mission: Born in Pembroke Pines but grew up living down in Miami…so what do you consider yourself…a Broward girl or a Miami girl? How was it filming down here?
Bella: A Miami girl! I didn’t actually get to film down here, which is really unfortunate since the movie does take place in part down here. The parts that I was supposed to be in were scheduled to film here, but they ended up switching it to shoot in Atlanta to fit better into my schedule.
Diary of a Working Mom: Huge fan of your other movies! How do you prepare for a role like this where you are actually opposite animated characters? Do you talk to yourself a lot? How does that work out?
Bella: You just kind of act with them alongside them. You have people reading their lines that are in red, blue, and green shirts so you know which characters they are. You have little stuffed animals as well. You have 10 takes minimum just for the Chipmunks without any direction from the director or any actor. It’s very interesting! There are a lot of things that need to be done to get that animation correct which is why I really wanted to work on the film!
Kids First: In the movie, your character seems to be pretty humble. How have you managed to stay humble?
Bella: I guess it’s not something I think about…I’m a pretty regular girl…I do regular things. I spend a lot of time with my family; they definitely keep me grounded. It’s easy. I don’t know how people get so caught up. I don’t go to a lot of events and stuff. I’m not in the Hollywood scene. A lot of my friends aren’t actors. Even when I go to NY for a press trip, I’m also going to hang out with one of my best friends and her sorority girls and feel what it’s like to be in a sorority.
The Circuit: Since Alvin & the Chipmunks has been around as a franchise for so long, have you seen the movies? What about that made you want to be in the movie?
Bella: I did see them growing up! I think it is something related to fond memories. It was fun watching it when I was growing up. It was a cool experience getting to be in something that I never thought I would be able to do. It was interesting, but it was definitely cool!
Teen Link: What were some of your favorite experiences while filming the movie?
Bella: There is a really funny story about the Chipmunks. We are so precious with the Chipmunks because really they are the stars of the movie. While filming everyone was always saying don’t bump into the Chipmunks, don’t do this, you can’t get close to them for animation purposes. So there was one time when the camera jib, which is a camera that goes on a track really fast, it was going down and it was zooming into an actor, and it ran over Theodore. It completely just slashed him. Literally, everybody just broke out in laughter, and I couldn’t help laughing because my favorite chipmunk is Theodore. We had to pick him up, he was fine obviously, this little green stuffed animal!
Social Commerce Mom: How was it transitioning from a Disney show and then going into this movie? How was it going from the small screen to now being a different person, a different character?
Bella: Before I did Shake It Up, I actually did lots of drama, so I’d done other things on like HBO and I love doing film. Then I got the show and it was like a halt, a stop, and I started to do comedy. Mostly, I love to do drama and I love the big screen. I’ve been working on a lot of films that aren’t as age appropriate as this one, and I’m really happy to be able to do family movies as well for my younger fan base. It was definitely not easy transitioning out of the Disney Channel because I would call in to do a project and they would say, “I don’t want to read her, she’s a Disney star.” I would say, “Let me go in, I will read for you, and I will show you that I am better than what you think.” They were always like “Wow, she really is a totally different actress!” It wasn’t as easy as you would think.
OuterSparkle: Towards the end of the film, the big party scene in the club just seemed like such a good time. Was it as much fun to film it as it was to watch it on the big screen?
Bella: It was a very fun scene to film, but it was a lot of hard work and longer work days. You have a lot of main characters in that one scene, so you do your wide shot, you do your coverage, you do your two shot, you do your cowboy, and then you go in for a single, single, single. You have so many different characters that it is a lot of coverage on just them, and then you do tights and closers…It’s a lot of shots! It was a really long day…We worked for like 17 hours every day for those days that we did that scene. It was fun, but the only sad part was that I had really uncomfortable, really tall 6” heels. I think we underestimated how much dancing I would be doing, and I was in this tight little mini skirt and these really tall heels running around on stage and hopping around the Chipmunks, and I fell out of my shoes twice. They ended taking bra straps and wrapping them around my ankles and the heels so they’d stay on my foot. After every take I’d ask if they could see my feet!
Living Sweet Moments: What do you like better, acting or music?
Bella: Definitely acting! I do have a movie coming out called Midnight Sun that I do a lot of singing in, which is definitely more of my better singing; it’s not pop music at all and I had to learn to play the guitar, and it was a really interesting learning experience.
Funtastic Life: What’s next for you?
Bella: I am shooting a film in January, and then I am shooting another film two months after that. Then I would start my show, so it’s a busy schedule already! I’m doing a film called XO with Jack Kilmer, which is great! Jack’s awesome; obviously he is the son of two very well known actors, and he has a lot riding on his shoulders and he can stand up for himself. He is a really good actor. That film is about aliens; it’s a really interesting film. Then I have another film I can’t talk about!
Mama’s Mission: You do a lot of social good, charitable work. What brought you to those organizations?
Bella: I am so happy to be where I am and I’m so blessed and lucky. Although I have put in the time, luck does play a big part. I’m really blessed. I want to give to people some of what I have, and so that’s why I do a lot of charity work. I was always raised and brought up doing charity work so it’s always been a big deal in my family. I was supposed to go build walls with an organization in Africa. I was shooting Blended, and I was literally on the plane about to go build a wall, and I was so excited. Then they called me and told me to get off the plane, I was shooting that day and had a 4pm call time. It was my day off, and I was so angry! I also work a lot with the Dyslexia Foundation and a few others.
Diary of a Working Mom: Would you want to do another animated movie?
Bella: I have another animated movie coming out that is not live action, it’s completely animated, called Ratchet and Clank, and it’s based off the famous video game. I actually go to do something really cool that I’m not allowed to announce yet, besides the movie that I’ve always wanted to do! I’m in the movie and I play a super bad chick character that really stands up for herself and kind of bullies Ratchet a little bit, which was really cute.
Kids First: You are obviously in front of the camera a lot; would you consider being behind the scenes?
Bella: Oh yeah! I want to study direction and writing, that’s a really big thing for me. I’m always so close with all the directors that I work with. I end up being best friends with them and always just hanging out with them. I’ve had one director tell me, “Who’s directing the movie?” I’m asking questions like are you going to do a wide shot or full coverage, I’m just so technical. You also don’t want to watch a movie with me…I am always like “Did you guys notice that? Did you see that?” I’m really critical, but mostly on continuity, because that really bugs me!
The Circuit: So since you been in both live action and animated movies, which ones do you prefer?
Bella: Definitely live! Animated movies are fun but I definitely prefer live action.
Teen Link: You recently released Autumn’s Kiss, which is the 2nd novel in your book series. Can you tell us what the writing process was like?
Bella: The writing process was the same as the first one. I had a lot of interesting ideas for the 2nd book that didn’t actually make it into the book, but I’m happy with where it ended up. It’s not like you can really sit down and say I have to write a book right now. That’s not how it goes; you just wouldn’t really have experience to do that…you wouldn’t know where your characters are going. So most of the time, its things that have happened to me or happens in my life, or I hear stories from other people and story ideas all the time and I get on my phone and I write it in my notes. Then when I’m feeling inspired, I’ll write something and give it to my ghost writer and we will go over it, we’ll look at it and decide if something should be different or how it should be worded. So it kind of goes like that.
Social Commerce Mom: Being a young woman in the film industry, you are looked upon by other girls admiring you and want to be like you. Do you feel a lot of pressure in that way?
Bella: I try not to think about it, of course it makes me really happy. I have a lot of fans that come up to me that tell me they were really bullied in school and I helped them through a lot of it or they are dyslexic too and I inspired them to go do this or that or some type of learning disability. That’s always really cool. I’m a normal girl; my fans are my age, so we would be buddies really. My fans I think can easily relate to me, because I don’t put on this act…I’m very honest and very real. You could ask me any question in the book and I’d answer it. It’s a little bit harder because people want to judge me constantly about the person I am, or what I’m wearing. Be a teenager and you try to build this life, and see what decisions you make.
Outersparkle: You mentioned you have Midnight Sun coming out and you do a lot of singing in that film…what style of music would you says you gravitate towards?
Bella: I really like the new Selena album actually, I really really like it. I’m more like indie music, slow hip hop music, R & B…I listen to a lot of 80’s rock music. I like Billy Squier and Joan Jett. I love putting on Cherry Pie in the car. Everybody looks at me so odd! I know all the lyrics to all the songs; if you put on any song on the radio, I’ll know all the lyrics to it. My friends know this about me, and they think it’s kind of annoying! Every time for my Snapchats I’m always blasting the music so loud. The people in the car next to me are always like what is this girl doing???
Living Sweet Moments: Were you able to improvise during the movie or was everything scripted?
Bella: Most things were scripted…there’s a little bit of improve but no not really.
Funtastic Life: If you weren’t acting what would you be doing?
Bella: I don’t know…I can’t think of one other thing that I would rather do with my life than act. Singing in great and I love dancing, and don’t get me wrong I love writing, but acting is the one thing, besides press and paparazzi and everything else, it’s the one thing I really look forward to…going to set every day and playing a character and learning from people…learning not only about the acting but also about every other part of the industry is really interesting. You get to know that not just from being on set, but getting close to your cast members and your crew members. I’m always really close to all my PA’s and the random camera grips.
Mama’s Mission: You’re half Cuban. How does influence the roles that you select?
Bella: I guess I don’t really into consideration so much. If a character is very spicy and has a lot of attitude, I know I can definitely do that, because I can have a lot of attitude and I’m very spicy and energetic. Any time there is a character that is big like that and outrageous I know that I can do it.
Diary of a Working Mom: Just sitting here today, you write, you sing, you act, you dance, you want to direct…is there anything you don’t do?
Bella: I don’t have a perfume line!
Kids First: You mentioned before that sometimes directors go against you, because you did work on Disney Channel. Do you regret being on Disney Channel at all?
Bella: No I don’t…There’s some other things I wish I could have done while I was still on the channel that I didn’t get to do, but I am really happy with where I am and what I did on that show. It taught me how to dance and that it like half of my soul now. I’m really happy that I got to experience that and I probably would have been too embarrassed or too shy to learn how to dance on my own, and that’s really cool. I got a really interesting work ethic from that show so I’m happy to have that background. Anytime I’m working on something hard with long hours, I know that I can definitely do it!
The Circuit: You have been working in the industry from a very young age…what originally got you into it?
Bella: I always wanted to be an actress growing up, but I’m dyslexic and my first language was Spanish. I had to drop Spanish to learn English and then learn how to read, which was very hard and difficult. I always wanted to be an actress but I was a model, and I did a lot of runway growing up. People always said you’re going to be pretty but you’ll never be smart, and you won’t act because you have to read, and you can’t read. I was always really embarrassed to do it and to try it. My brother and I came to Los Angeles for a Guess runway show, and he went on what we thought was a commercial but it ended up being a pilot for a series called Four Kings. I remember seeing him and it was a live audience show, so that’s a lot of energy. It’s different for actors…for singers you sing a song, and you get your applause while you’re on stage while you’re doing it. You feel the love and the hype. For actors, you do something, and then a year later it comes out, and you’re not in movie theaters with people screaming how good you are. It’s a very different form of that.
Teen Link: If you could work with anyone in the industry who would you want to work with?
Bella: Christian Bale! I’d work with Christian Bale. Quentin Tarantino is my favorite director. I actually got to meet him again at the Hateful Eight premiere and I got to meet him when I was nine at the Whip It premiere. He was like, “You’re just an awesome girl; you are a rock star; you’re so cool!” Then I’ve seen him one other time while he was randomly walking down the streets of New York, and I was in a cab, and I was like, “Quentin Tarantino! Hey buddy!” And he was like, “Hey!” Then I saw him again, and I was like, “Hi so nice to meet you,” and he was like, “Nice to see you Bella,” and I couldn’t believe he remembered me, and he was like, “Yeah of course, Bella Thorne!” That was such a cool experience. He was talking about his 75mm lens he had to use on screen, and for most people they might be like what’s that, but if you like camera work it’s really interesting. So definitely Quentin Tarantino!
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